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Radiation Biology

Semester 1

The Radiation Biology course emphasizes the interaction of ionizing radiation with biological tissue. The course will introduce students to the concept of radiation and the classification of radiation types. The course explores tools used to model radiation interaction with tissue and the use of these models to predict the effects of ionizing radiation. Radiation Biology is an important framework for clinical radiation therapy as it provides the principle for implementation of new treatment strategies. Knowledge of Radiation Biology is a fundamental requirement for the medical physicist working in a clinical environment.

  • Module 1 - Classification of Radiation in radiobiology
    • Classification of radiation in radiobiology
    • Cell-cycle and cell death
    • Effect of cellular radiation, oxygen effect
    • Type of radiation damage (tissue, organ and whole body)
  • Module 2 - Effects of Radiation on Biological Tissue
    • Cell survival curve
    • Dose-response curve
    • Early and late effects of radiation (deterministic, stochastic and teratogenic); effects on the developing embryo
  • Module 3 - Modelling in Radiobiology
    • Modelling, linear quadratic (LQ) model, α/β ratio
    • Fractionation, 2 Gy per fraction equivalent total dose (EQD2Gy)
    • Dose rate effect
    • Tumour Control Probability (TCP), Normal Tissue Complication Probability
    • (NTCP), Equivalent Uniform Dose (EUD)
  • Module 4 - Evaluation of Biological Damage
    • Tolerance doses and volumes, Quantitative Analysis of Normal Tissue Effects in the Clinic (QUANTEC)
    • Normal and tumour cell therapeutic ratio
    • Radio-sensitizers, protectors
  • Coursework: 40%
    • One in-course test (2 hours) 40%
  • Final Exam: 60%
    • One Three-hour written paper 60%
Learning Objectives: 

On successful completion of the course, students should be able to:
1. Discuss the basic connection between interactions of radiation with tissue.
2. Describe molecular interactions, through sub-cellular and cellular levels of organization; general aspects of DNA repair; biological effects of ionizing radiation.
3. Interpret the modelling of radiation interaction with human tissue and how these models are utilized in radiation medicine.
4. Discuss the importance of fractionation schemes to the process of radiotherapy.

Course Code: 
2 Credits
Level 1
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